Of Awards, Missions and ‘My People’

Jess Owens oncesaid, “Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.”
And Owens wasarguably one of the most influential athletes of all time, winning 4 gold inBerlin Olympics in 1936, when Hitler staged the game to showcase the Aryansupremacy.
Despite what Owenssaid, awards do, and would continue to, mean a lot to the athletes. These arethe reasons why they play for, when the game they play is not enough to buythem sustenance. Probably that’s why Pulsar Sports Awards gets a lot ofpublicity. So much that players go ahead players or their fans go ahead gettingpamphlets printed and paste it around the walls. So much, fan groups rallyaround requesting for SMS votes. The national football team went to the easternregion, to play friendly matches against Sunsari, Morang and Jhapa – with thepermission from ANFA – to gather support for its captain, who happens to be oneof the nominees for Popular Player of the Year.
At the risk ofirritating a lot of sports journos, yours truly would also like to argue thatthe awards have become popular also because it is organized by Nepal SportsJournalist Forum. Most sports journos are affiliated with the forum, and thenews gets month long (or more coverage in popular newsprint), making it widelyread, and thus popular. One question could be asked here: Would it get as muchcoverage, if some other organization covered it?
If the answer isyes, there is nothing wrong with it. But if the answer is no, rethinking is needed. Are we overdoing it?

Change in Guards at NSC: Will it be change of attitude?

The National Sports Council has a new head. Former Karateka Yuvraj Lama has made a comeback into the field of sports, after a gap of almost two decades, as the most powerful (potentially) person in Nepali sports – The Member Secretary of National Sports Council (NSC). Following his appointment, many a person were found asking, why is he back? Or what can he give back to sports?
Being able to talk to him the day he took office, I, too, was bound to ask him – Why? But Lama, as anybody who takes up such a post should be, appeared prepared. He tells you he’s presented a working plan to the party leadership. Party leadership? The question may amuse many. But that’s the way cookie crumbles here. Member Secretary of NSC, like in many other institutions that ought to be autonomous, is a political appointment.

A fan’s wishlist for 2011

Abraham Lincoln once said, “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” As a year comes to an end, and another starts, it’s time to take stock of the year gone by, and a time to figure out what we want in another that has just started.
For sports fans, it’s always about how many trophies their teams win, rather than how many matches they play. One bronze medal in Asian Games, added to a fifth place finish in South Asian Games is not what Nepali fans dream of. They want more, especially when Afghanistan, the latest entrant to SAG is breathing down our neck.
So what would a sports fan wish for, in the coming year? Brighter medal tallies, more efficient sport management and teams that would scare the opposition? 11 items from the wishlist of a sport fan for 2011: